Citation Nr: 18124003
Decision Date: 08/03/18	Archive Date: 08/03/18

DOCKET NO. 17-34 013
DATE:	August 3, 2018
Entitlement to a rating higher than 40 percent for bilateral hearing loss is remanded.
The Veteran had active service from August 1951 to August 1953.  
This matter comes before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA or Board) from an August 2016 rating decision of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Regional Office (RO).
The Veteran requested a hearing before the Board.  The requested hearing was conducted in May 2018 by the undersigned Veterans Law Judge.  A transcript is associated with the claims file.
Entitlement to a rating higher than 40 percent for bilateral hearing loss is remanded.
The Veteran asserts his hearing loss disability is more severe than what is represented by a 40 percent rating.
The Veteran was afforded an audiological VA examination in July 2016. The Veteran testified at the May 2018 Board Hearing that since the 2016 VA examination, his hearing loss has become more severe. Furthermore, the Veteran testified that he underwent audiological evaluations with the VA after the 2016 VA examination. In a June 2018 letter, the Veteran specifically noted that he had an audiological evaluation at a particular VA Medical Center. These records have not yet been associated with the claims file.
Thus, an updated VA examination is needed to fully and fairly evaluate the Veteran’s claim for an increased disability rating. See Allday v. Brown, 7 Vet. App. 517, 526 (1995) (where the record does not adequately reveal current state of claimant’s disability, fulfillment of statutory duty to assist requires a contemporaneous medical examination). 
On remand, the Veteran should be afforded a new VA examination to determine the current severity of his bilateral hearing loss, and updated VA treatment records, to include all audiological evaluations conducted after 2016, should be obtained and associated with the claims file.
The matter is REMANDED for the following action:
1. Obtain and associate with the claims file all updated VA treatment records, specifically all audiological VA evaluations dated from 2016 to current, to include, but not limited to, audiological evaluations from St. James VA Clinic.
2. After instruction (1) is completed, afford the Veteran a VA examination to determine the current severity of his bilateral hearing loss. 
All indicated tests and studies should be accomplished, and all clinical findings should be reported in detail. 
The Veteran’s claims folder must be reviewed by the examiner in conjunction with the examination. 
The examiner should identify and completely describe all current symptomatology.
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals

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